Fallout from Deen's racial comments just getting started - CBS46 News

Fallout from Deen's racial comments just getting started

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More people are weighing in on celebrity chef Paula Deen's race scandal, and that means only more bad news coming her way.

Mayor Kasim Reed took Deen to task on national television, and public relations experts are saying the fallout is certainly not over.

When the Food Network announced it would not renew Deen's contract, many thought that was about as bad as it could get for the celebrity chef, but some experts are saying it's just the beginning.

When you think of Deen, most people immediately think of the Food Network. So to lose that connection isn't just a hit to Deen herself, but perhaps more importantly to the Paula Deen brand - something that's worth roughly $11 million.

David Johnson is the CEO of Strategic Vision LLC.

"It's a major blow. While Paula Deen's personal empire expands well beyond the Food Network, the Food Network really is synonymous with Paula Deen, so to lose that is really to lose part of her whole brand identity," said Johnson.

And if using the N-word didn't get her in enough trouble, Johnson said her apology for it only made things worse.

"It almost came across as, 'This is something I have to do and I can't believe I'm caught in this controversy,'" said Johnson.

It's a controversy that might not be going anywhere anytime soon.

"She'll always have that asterisk next to her name saying she used that word and that she has racial issues with her," said Johnson. He later added, "Her brand is damaged. Paula Deen herself will still continue a little, but the brand, the magnitude of the brand, is gone and it will never come back."

There's a long line of people coming out against Deen but not a lot of supporters, and that could be a big deal. Johnson said advertisers pay attention to that because if people won't defend her, why would they want to hire her?

You can see much more of Johnson's interview Monday morning on CBS This Morning, right after Better Mornings Atlanta.

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